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County officials recently identified three men who were found dead in separate incidents in the 1980s, including one whose body was found on the railroad tracks in Gilroy. 

According to the Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office, Scotty Edward Echols was found on July 4, 1983. Echols was likely a transient who was found on the railroad tracks directly across from 8797 Monterey Road in Gilroy. 

The office has been unable to locate family members of Echols and the other two recently identified people, and is seeking the public’s help. When Echols’ body was found, he weighed about 210 pounds and was about 5 feet, 7 inches tall, according to the county. 

Echols was a Caucasian male with brown hair and brown eyes, the medical examiner’s office continued. He had a tattoo of a devil on his upper right shoulder. 

At the time of this death, Echols was wearing a maroon shirt, checkered gray coat, khaki army pants and loafers with gray socks. 

Echols’ date of birth was May 13, 1951. 

Also recently identified by medical examiner’s officials are Alfred Sherman Anderson and Johnny Puentas. 

Anderson was found on Nov. 16, 1987 beneath an ATM behind American Savings, 66 West Santa Clara Street in San Jose, according to the county. Anderson weighed 145 pounds and was about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. He was a Caucasian male with gray-brown hair and gray eyes. 

Anderson was born on Aug. 23, 1930. At the time of his death, he was wearing a red windbreaker marked with “Half Moon Bay Parks and Rec,” a checkered gray-green sport shirt and a gray short sleeved pullover marked “Pebble Beach.” He was also wearing gray pants with a light brown belt, white socks and blue deck shoes, according to the coroner’s office. 

Puentas was found on Sept. 20, 1989 on the bank of Coyote Creek near Story Road in San Jose, the coroner’s office continued. Puentas was born on March 26, 1952. 

Puentas was further described as a Hispanic male with black hair. At the time of his death, he was wearing blue jeans and yellow high top tennis shoes, according to the coroner’s office. Found near Puentas’ body was a red tote back marked “Marlboro,” a blue windbreaker jacket, blue UCLA polo shirt, blue “net type T-shirt” and a tan or gray polo shirt. 

County officials have not stated what caused any of the men’s deaths. 

Information about these cases has been uploaded into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a national centralized repository and resource center for missing, unidentified and unclaimed person cases across the U.S., according to the county. NamUs provides technology, forensic services and investigative support to resolve missing person and unidentified remains cases.

Anyone with information about Echols, Anderson or Puentas, or their surviving family members can call the medical examiner-coroner’s office investigations unit at 408.793.1900, extension 3. 

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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